Obama hails end of Iraq war, but is it a victory for Iran? (VIDEO)
President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met in Washington Monday to mark the approaching end of the Iraq war. But Iran is happy to see US troops go and will bear watching.
President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki discussed post-war US-Iraq relations at the White House Monday and the two leaders visited Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the sacrifices of US troops in a nearly nine-year war.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Leaving Iraq
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The Iraqi leader is expected to accompany Mr. Obama to North Carolina Wednesday, where the president and Mrs. Obama will thank some of the last of US troops returning from Iraq and assure them that, as Obama declared Monday, they delivered an Iraq “that is self-governing, that is inclusive, and that has enormous potential.”
But as much as most Americans would like to consider the war in Iraq over, the US will have to remain engaged in Iraq – including militarily – if the slim gains the US achieved are not to be lost, some Iraq analysts say.
“It is nice for President Obama and Prime Minister Maliki to join in thanking US forces for their accomplishments and sacrifices,” says Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, but “thanks do not give these achievements strategic meaning.”
The “real tests” of the US ability to transform “a costly strategic failure” into future success will be twofold, Mr. Cordesman writes on the CSIS website.
First, the US must see Iraq through to ensuring its own internal stability, and second, the US must develop a new Persian Gulf security arrangement – one that effectively limits Iran’s influence, including in Iraq.